What is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Some may say the inventor of the airplane was an optimist and the inventor of the parachute was a pessimist!

Sculpting your mind in the pursuit of mastery is about shaping your perception, through way of inspiration and attitude. As Safety in the Market students, we are continually sculpting our knowledge, following the lessons of influential practitioners such as WD Gann and David Bowden.

The reason I use the words influential practitioners, is because we often believe that ‘gifted individuals’ are born geniuses, or their brilliance has just appeared out of nowhere, a result of natural talent, or perhaps an alignment of the stars. This might have some truth behind it, but it is not an accurate belief. Everyone has the ability to be a genius. If you have a brain, you are in control of the most powerful computer, capable of generating 25 watts of energy, enough to power a small wattage LED light bulb! It’s the time and energy that we put into an endeavour that is in direct relationship with results. Having the right attitude to learn how to control this amazing machine is something worth further investigating.

The first place to start would be to clear up the myth that we need to be born with natural talent and more so understand how we can all manufacture and maintain our own growth. Think back to a time where you were constantly having successful outcomes, and everything was going “right”. You probably had a feeling of greater command, where you were in control of your reality. Do you ever think this was just your perception around what was “right” and what was “happening” as opposed to you having consistent good luck?

It might be something we only experience for a short period of time, then lose our direction or motivation to keep going. For influential practitioner’s, it becomes their way of life, and they focus their life and their way of seeing the world through this obsession. Some of the masters that have dedicated their lives to their profession include Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and obviously many more. This is a time to ask yourself “are you prepared to devote your time to making speculation a profitable profession?”

The process that leads to trading mastery is accessible to all of us. David Bowden often talks about his Super Traders, who have put in the time to obtain mastery, though endeavouring mastery, the learning never stops. If we break the process down, you can identify the characteristics of a Super Trader and use them as the sequence towards trading mastery.

  • At the beginning of our trading journey, we enter a new field with excitement, not overly concerned about how much there is to learn ahead of us due to the excitement. The greatest danger at this point is boredom, impatience, fear, and confusion. Once we stop observing and learning, the process towards mastery comes to a halt.
  • If you feel you have come to a halt, you need to ask yourself, “Have you lost your passion for trading?” If so, trading might not be for you, which is perfectly fine. If, however you insist you want to continue, you need to manage your emotions and keep pushing forward. You need to gain fluency and master the basic skills allowing you to take on bigger and better challenges.
  • You’ll note that the Safety in the Market education curriculum starts with the basics and moves to more complex theories. Starting with the lessons in the Active Trader Program and knowing them like a cow knows it calf, you then work your way through the Ultimate Gann Course and into the Master Forecasting Course. Eventually, we move from student to practitioner, but learning never stops! We start to use our own ideas and experiments, getting feedback in the process. We start to create our own style.
  • As we continue over the years we make the leap to mastery. We develop an intuitive sense of the skill and have mastered it to the point of being able to innovate and break the rules through your own experimentation. We often talk about making your own trading plan, not David Bowden’s or Gann but your own!

In the back of my mind I can hear the critics screaming, “but that’s easier said than done”, and fair enough as human emotion is often a reflection of what has been seen. You don’t know, what you don’t know. Historically, only the leaders or those with the right social standing could pursue a career of their choice and master it. Times have changed, yet people’s perceptions have remained the same. If a child was born into the business, or groomed for the castle, or born among the right status class, they would be bound for great things. If an individual happened to display a talent and desire for such work, it was mostly a coincidence, as they were presented for the role regardless.

Millions of people who were not part of the right social class, gender, and ethnic group were rigidly excluded from the possibility of pursuing their calling and placed in ‘jobs’. Even if people wanted to follow their inclinations, access to the information and knowledge concerning that particular field was controlled by the professionals who owned and ran the industry. That is why few masters from the past stand out so much.

These social and political barriers, however, have mostly disappeared. Today we have access to information and knowledge that masters could only dream about. We may even have too much information readily available. More than ever, we have the capacity and freedom to move toward the inclination that all of us possess as part of our genetic uniqueness. It is time that the word “genius” becomes revealed and de-puzzled. We are all closer than we think to such intelligence and I only encourage you to follow your calling.

It’s Your Perception

Robert Steer